By Caroline Shannon-Karasik
Updated Dec 27, 2018 @ 4:15 pm
New Year's Eve Party
Credit: Getty Images

Okay, so you decided to host a New Year’s Eve party. Now 2018 is swiftly coming to a close and, despite your best intentions, you have absolutely nothing planned.

Take heart — there’s still time to plan a great party and even give it your own spin. Because while there are some NYE essentials that are a given (sparkling wine, noisemakers), these New Year’s Eve party ideas will give you just the inspiration you need to design a special night, whether it’s an intimate get-together with a few friends or a full-blown event with all of the bells and whistles.

Here are a few tips to help you throw a killer party in a flash — and set the tone for 2019 in style.


Don’t let a last-minute party interfere with getting out proper invites. Send friends and family a festive (and free!) e-design from Punchbowl, which boasts a number of New Year’s Eve options with plenty of gold, silver, and sparkles.

Paperless Post also offers a variety of New Year’s Eve email invites. The New Year’s “Toast” invite is pretty adorable, and there’s also a fun checklist invite that includes a disco ball and lip balm as must-have list items.


Let’s be honest, is it really a party without a photo booth (and every prop you can possibly imagine)? This DIY photo booth from the TODAY Show only requires a few simple items, like a gold doorway curtain, silver star cutouts, thumbtacks and double-sided foam tape. Score fun props like a Giant New Year's Photo Frame or a Black, Gold & Silver New Year's Photo Booth Kit from Party City. Don’t forget party favors like party hats and noisemakers.

When it comes to party decorations, it’s all about balloons. You can take NYE balloons to the next level with this idea from Polaroid. Simply tape your favorite shots of friends and family to the ends of balloon strings for a personal touch. Or opt for custom balloon letters of a solid quote or inspiring message to start the new year on the right foot. These rose gold ones from Etsy are kind of a no-brainer.

VIDEO: Here's How To Copy Gigi Hadid's Birthday Dress for Your Next Party


New Year’s Eve is not the time to bother with formal place settings and recipes that take all day. Skip the sit-down dinner and instead choose a variety of finger foods that can easily be enjoyed by guests, whether they’re hanging out on the couch or just taking a break from dancing. Check out these ideas for small bites, including rosemary pecans, chickpea crostini, and bacon-wrapped apricots with sage.

Don’t be afraid to make it a BYO affair. Ask guests to bring appetizers or simple-to-serve dishes to not only cut down on your prep, but ensure everyone gets a little something they enjoy. Bruschetta and hummus are two apps that are sure to be crowd pleasers. These party-perfect hors-d'oeuvres — including Truffle Popcorn and Coney Island Crab Cakes — are also bound to be a hit.


When it comes to drinks, it doesn't hurt to add a bit of pizzaz by giving classic champagne a twist with a champagne-based cocktail like champagne sangria or champagne lemon Jell-O shots.

In addition to stocking up on champagne bottles, another fun way to celebrate is with a house cocktail. Take, for example, the Angry Dragon, which is Jessica Biel’s fave and includes dragonfruit, sake, and vodka for a delicious pink drink. Madonna’s pomegranate martini is also pretty fitting for ringing in the new year, seeing as how pomegranate is considered to bring good luck throughout the year in Greek culture.


A party is a great time to chat with friends about plans for the new year. But if you feel like New Year’s resolutions are so last year, then skip the traditional goal setting and instead try a new way to set your intentions.

A “rememberlutions” jar is a good way to take the pressure off of setting resolutions by instead filling a vessel with slips of paper that note accomplishments and memories throughout the coming year. That way, on New Year’s Eve next year, you can relive fun moments instead of lamenting the resolutions you didn’t quite fulfill. Create a craft table complete with Mason jars and crafting supplies — glitter, glue, construction paper, stickers — and let guests create their own jars.

TED also offers nontraditional ideas for resolutions, including “become pen pals with someone in prison” and “say yes to everything for one month.”